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Exogenous plant hormones alleviate As stress by regulating antioxidant defense system in Oryza sativa L

Plant hormones play essential roles in plant growth regulation and resistance to environmental pressure. A hydroponic experiment was conducted using Zhongjiazao 17 rice to explore the effects of exogenous plant hormones on antioxidant response and As accumulation in rice under As stress. Melatonin (MT), 2,4-epibrassinolide (EBL), and jasmonic acid (JA) reduced the As content in seedlings significantly by 13.4% (MT)–32.5% (EBL) under 5 µM As stress. Three hormones increased superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) activities, and glutathione (GSH) content significantly (2.2%–82.9%) in 5 µM As stress condition, whereas the levels of H2O2 and malondialdehyde (MDA) were reduced significantly (32.3%–78.1%). Plant hormone addition reduced the As content in seedlings significantly by 18.2% (JA)–33.3% (MT) under 25 µM As stress. SOD, POD, and CAT activities and GSH content in seedlings increased significantly (5.6–90.4%) with three hormones addition in 25 µM As stress, whereas the levels of H2O2, O2?¯, and MDA reduced significantly (20.9–73.0%). Staining with 2?,7?-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate and nitroblue tetrazolium showed that green fluorescence and blue spots decreased gradually in hormone-treated seedlings, further confirming that the exogenous addition of hormones weakened the oxidative stress of As to seedlings. Oxidative damage by As stress was reduced more by EBL than by the other hormones MT or JA. Totally, exogenous plant hormone can alleviate As stress in rice by activating enzyme activity of antioxidant defense system and scavenging reactive oxygen species, thus reducing oxidative damage and As accumulation in rice seedlings.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 1914.